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positive absolute returns in every five-year holding period. The best investment-grade wines are produced in small quantities (up to a maximum of 20,000 cases) and it is the demand-supply imbalance brought about through their consumption that drives prices higher over time. Buying the best that you can afford should generally reap the greatest investment potential. It is worth bearing in mind that a smaller quantity of the finest wines will serve you better than multiple cases of a cheaper wine as the insurance and storage costs generated will be greater and will eat into profit. Make sure that you screen your merchant when getting advice and store the wine in government licensed bonded warehouses. Provenance, vintage and quality are crucially important to determine and prove the value of the investment.


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UK Residential Real Estate could well be a potential ‘silver lining’ to the Brexit cloud. With rental demand expected to remain strong in the UK, owing to the difficulty faced by many in obtaining mortgages, buy-to-let property is proving a strong investment and is likely to remain so. Furthermore with the effect of Brexit on exchange rates, overseas investors are also finding the price of prestige UK residential property at its lowest for the past 30 years. Yields rise as house prices fall, and this makes it easier to obtain buy-to-let lending as the income covers more of the interest cost. We are seeing an increasing level of interest being recorded by overseas


investors, particularly those based in the UAE and in America, looking for properties to buy and to take advantage of the strengthened dollar against sterling. Assets can now be bought by foreign buyers at around a 20 per cent discount, with sterling at its lowest point since 1985. For foreign buyers this equates to turning the clock back to Q3 2013, when house prices across the whole of the UK were 19.5 per cent below where they are now, according to Nationwide. Our housing supply- demand imbalance will not be solved any time soon: the Government’s pledge to build 200,000 homes per year is still way off target. Investment in house building is on hold and, until there are enough homes built, the lack of supply could cushion house prices, regardless of Brexit.


The alternative investment market covers an increasingly complex variety of opportunities for both the accredited and non-accredited investor but it is not without risk and it is recommended that advice should be taken from qualified specialists with a strong track record in the area concerned. The investment should also complement any existing investment portfolio held rather than compete. The best rule for any investment applies - do not use money that is likely to be necessary for your living in the short-to medium-term. Only spend what truly won’t be missed, recognise that returns are not guaranteed and these are generally illiquid assets to be held for the long term.


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20/20 The Finance Centre Page 61


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